Yeading impress, Toon progress
By Alex Dunn. Last Updated: 09/01/05 3:46pm
Newcastle overcame stubborn resistance from Yeading to eventually come out 2-0 winners at Loftus Road after a first period in which the Premiership side failed to break down their non-league counterparts.
Yeading were excellent in the first half but in the second, goals from Lee Bowyer and Shola Ameobi secured Newcastle a place in the FA Cup fourth round.
In the first period talk of a cricket score proved superfluous, as Yeading got over an early scare from Laurent Robert to play with a composure that belied their status as a Ryman League outfit.
Starting the game six divisions below their Premiership counterparts, those in red and white must have seemed like the proverbial lambs for the majority in Loftus Road.
However, what the 10,000 crowd could not have imagined was that Yeading could partner undoubted spirit with a quality in possession that more than matched Newcastle's.
The opening ten minutes would always prove crucial and in the first, Robert could have put a dampener on proceedings but he only managed to find Delroy Preddie with the weakest of efforts.
Indeed, such was Yeading's proficiency that the next chance would fall to Emond Protain but he could only head over when well placed in the Newcastle box following a set-piece.
Yeading's veteran schemer David Clarke by this stage was dictating possession and even against the twin talents of Lee Bowyer and Jermaine Jenas; was the best player on the pitch by some margin.
The closest Newcastle would come to registering came after Craig Bellamy rattled the bar when fed by Ameobi, but prior to the Welshman's miss, Bowyer was left with his head in his hands after failing to convert from close range.
Preddie then pulled off a decent save, albeit one for the cameras, from Jenas' excellent strike from distance and at the other end, Steve Harper needed to be sharp to repel Clarke's excellent free kick.
On the stroke of half time, Preddie denied Ameobi at his near post when the big target man elected to shoot indulgently despite having team-mates in support.
In the fist period Toon boss Graeme Souness was an agitated spectator on the touchline and one suspects he spent the interval berating his players into extra exertions, for it was a different Newcastle that emerged after the break.
Within five minutes, the FA Cup appeared to be losing some of its sparkle when, after Ameobi played in Bellamy down the right flank, the Welshman delivered a slipped ball across goal that an onrushing Bowyer knocked in from a yard.
The former Leeds midfielder should have doubled Newcastle's and his own tally when he flicked over from close range and then Ameobi put paid to any chance of an upset with a second.
Substitute Darren Ambrose played in a wickedly delivered set-piece from the right and Ameobi rose highest to dispatch a well-directed header past Preddie.
As fatigue set in the legs of the Yeading part-timers, Newcastle threatened to expose emerging gaps down the flanks but an avalanche of goals would certainly have been harsh.
Steve Taylor seemed intent on netting his first goal for Newcastle but could only blaze two efforts over the top, while Bellamy brought a good save from Preddie in the final moments.
Newcastle progress but Yeading will take consolation from a performance that suggests several of their players may have a chance a little further up the football ladder.
|Yeading||Team Statistics||Newcastle United|
|0||1st Half Goals||0|
|3||Shots on Target||5|
|3||Shots off Target||14|